Ansley Elkins couldn’t stop smiling. She called her mom. She called her dad. And then she threw on her shoes and ran to campus and told everyone she saw the news: She’d officially been named a Goldwater Scholar.
“My face hurt by the end of the day because of how hard I had been smiling,” says the rising senior, who applied for the Goldwater Scholarship – one of the nation’s highest honors for undergraduates studying science, technology, engineering or mathematics – at the urge of her faculty advisors, but never dreamed she’d actually be awarded the scholarship. “In my head, there was no way I was going to get it. But I put my name in the hat, and I’m so glad that I did!”
Aiming to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in STEM disciplines, the Barry Goldwater Scholarship recognizes college sophomores and juniors who show exceptional promise of becoming the next generation of research leaders in their fields.
“Winning this award has been a transformative experience, confirming my identity as a scientist and affirming the validity and importance of my research,” says Elkins, an Honors College student double-majoring in biology and chemistry. “Getting that recognition helped alleviate any kind of imposter syndrome I felt and really made me feel very recognized and accomplished.”
This is hardly Elkins’ first accomplishment. The Charleston Fellow has received a Pee Dee Alumni Club Scholarship, a Swanson Family Scholarship, a College of Charleston Merit Scholarship, the Baikal Foundation Scholarship and the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship.
“All of these different scholarships have just taken the financial burden off of my back,” says the Florence, South Carolina, native, noting that she wouldn’t have been able to come to the College without scholarship support.
Learn more about Ansley’s many accomplishments in the full article by Alicia Lutz on the College Today.